Albino Rocca

About the Producer: 
The sudden success of Vigneto Brich Ronchi rewards the efforts of Albino Rocca and, above all, his son Angelo, in raising to prominence the once obscure Ronchi vineyard area of Barbaresco. Vigneto Brich Ronchi first appeared in a label from the 1990 vintage, when the Rocca family decided it was time to declare their crus as neighbors had been doing. The wine had just been released when, in 1994, wine journalist Alessandro Masnaghetti published his authoritative map rating vineyards of the commune of Barbaresco in three categories: grange valore, ottimo valore, buon valore(great, very good, and good). Masnaghetto rated part of Ronchi (with three sub-zones) as buon valore and part as “not particularly suited to Nebbiolo for Barbaresco”- in other words, a third growth at best. Masnaghetti did, however, mention Brich Ronchi as a new estate wine noting that he preferred to evaluate it after further verification. Since then, Masnaghetti and other critics in Italy and abroad have given high marks to Vigneto Brich Ronchi from 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997 vintages, assessments occasionally matched by Albino Rocca’s other previously unsung cru, Loreto. Angelo Rocca strives for perfection in vineyards and cellars with a fastidiousness that brings out the best in his terrains. Yet there is no denying that the class shown by Vigneto Brich Ronchi in the 1990s also reflects an intrinsic value of the vineyard that seems certain to be acknowledged in coming years with a move up a notch or two in the rankings. The Rocca family recently acquired a bit more land there, so production should increase from 18,000 bottles to about 23,000 in coming years. From 10 hectares of vines, Albino Rocca now produces a total of about 60,000 bottles a year, including the excellent DOC Barbear d’Alba Gepin, Doceltto d’Alba Vignalunga and two versions of white Cortese: Langhe Bianco DOC La Rocca (oak fermented) and Cortese La Rocca, a vino da tavola.